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Opening Bell: 04.24.09

Morgan Stanley Eyes Changing PDT Desk (WSJ)
They're examining rolling the desk out into a hedge fund or opening it to outside investors; though there's every possibility that they'll leave it alone. All that's known is "Discussions about restructuring the group have been under way for more than a year, but have accelerated during the past few months." At the heart of the issue are the H-1B rules implemented for those institutions holding TARP funds; under the new guidelines you have to prove you made every reasonable effort to hire an American before taking on someone requiring a Visa. The desk is largely quant, and the quants are largely foreign.
Investors Seek To Block Mortgage Securities Bill (FT)
"Bond investors are lobbying hard to change federal policies aimed at reducing foreclosures in the US, saying the measures discriminate against holders of top-rated securities backed by mortgages.
The investors are set to meet senators next week. The next step could be legal action against the US government if the law is passed, on the basis that it could violate the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for public use without compensation."
US To Tell Banks How They Did, Scores Posted By Gym At Noon (NYT)
The Gov will be telling the banks what their results looked like at some point today, and this afternoon they should release the details of how the stress tests worked/what metrics were used; the public won't get a good look at "scores" until May 4th. In the week + weekend you have to wonder how many leaks there's going to be, and whether Code Pink can possibly survive the nine days of not knowing who they're going to annoy next.
Pandit Could Be Forced From Citi After Tests (Reuters)
Reuters puts forth a not-so-bad argument that when the tests for Citi come back, the US Gov may have very little (if any) choice but to replace him a-la GM. We have to be fair in socialism, you know.
M.B.A's Staying Put (WSJ)
It used to be, you could do pretty much whatever you wanted post college (numbers related), go get your MBA, and someone would pick you up. Not so much anymore, as recent MBA Grad's are finding out - dreams of going into IB are being squashed left and right. For instance, this guy:
"But as he prepares to graduate from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana next month, Mr. Fusco, 27 years old, hasn't had any luck landing a position in finance. The only solution he has is to go back to his accounting roots. "It's a tough pill to swallow, but I've come to the conclusion that I can't sit and wait and cross my fingers," he says.
Madoff Net Losers Safe From Clawback (WSJ)
"Investors with Bernard Madoff who had a net loss due to his fraud won't be asked to return funds they withdrew from his firm in recent years, said a lawyer who is charged with recovering the firm's assets."